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  • Writer's pictureMarty

The Way Back to Franklin Falls

Indiegogo Campaign

Franklin has a diverse history. Downtown Franklin exists because of the rivers and mill buildings. We are now ready to reuse the rivers to repurpose and reinvent ourselves focusing on recreational activities and a true sense of community.

Although we are presently the smallest and poorest city in New Hampshire, we are poised and heading in the right direction with momentum to change that. We are ready to overcome common place issues such as obesity, drug addiction, crime, lack of economic opportunity and stigma that challenge many small towns by bringing in new opportunities.

We need a catalyst to support our residents, visitors, restaurants and new businesses. This iconic outdoor destination will give that boost.

A diverse and motivated partnership of community members are planning to improve our community’s quality of life through getting dirty or wet at our new park:

  • Community Garden, which will supply our residents with fresh and organic fruits and vegetables free of charge

  • Whitewater Park on the Winnipesaukee River enabling whitewater kayakers, surfers, stand up paddleboarders to utilize our river year round

  • Mountain Bike Pump Track winding through the hills and valleys adjacent to the river, designed for each and every rider

The combination of a whitewater park and a pump track in close proximity to a downtown exists nowhere else in New England, making Franklin the next stop for any outdoor recreationalist.

With Your Help

Our goal is to raise $45,000 in order to pay certified engineers from McLaughlin Whitewater and trail designers from Highland Trails. In return, these companies will provide conceptual designs, detailed designs and planning documentation to support the construction of this iconic destination.

By supporting us in the creation of an innovative community park you’ll be supporting the revitalization of this historic mill town - one that is rooted in the principles of sustainability and community development.

PermaCityLife isa NH non-profit with Franklin Business and Industrial Development Corporation as our 501 (c) 3 fiscal sponsor. All donation made to our campaign are tax deductible.

Our Project in Numbers

Whitewater Park Consultation Services with McLaughlin Whitewater: $28,000 Pump Track Master Plan with Highland Mountain Bike Park: $15,000 Indiegogo Campaign Fees: $2,000

The Impact

Through getting dirty and wet, we plan on having a positive impact on every person in town, even those who do not take full advantage of our park. Our project will:

  • Increase the community’s quality of life

  • Increase property values

  • Develop a community identity & build a sense of pride

  • Create environmental attachment & promote Franklin as a regional outdoors destination

  • Provide opportunities to community, business owners, sponsors, vendors & entrepreneurs

The community garden will not only provides a green space in the heart of downtown but also a place for people to socialize, and enjoy the edibles planted by our own community members.  Our partnership with Franklin Regional Hospital, the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Coalition and Pay It Forward Farm will help increase access to local organic food grown right in our community.

The Winnipesaukee River is already a whitewater kayaker’s playground, However, it is only at a suitable level when dams upstream release water. Altering the mill infested river sustainably to improve the quality and safety of the rapids would provide the public continuous use of the river. This amenity - a 1.5 mile feature from Cross Mill Bridge to Trestle View Park-would be the first of its kind in New England.

While kayakers are running the rapids, bikers can be enjoying the Mountain Bike Pump Track adjacent to the river. Our neighbor and staple in the biking world, Highland Mountain Bike Park, will design a course enjoyable for people of all ages and skill levels.

Kayaking and Mountain Biking are sports which promote flow moments – a moment in which a person is totally engulfed in the activity. Flow moment sports have direct connections to personal happiness, and are being used to combat issues such as; PTSD, cancer and drug addiction in other parts of the country.

According to a recent study, Franklin's Outdoor Activities & Associated Economic Impact, developed with NH Department of Resources and Economic Development office, it was estimated that iconic amenities such as these would account for $6.8 Million in direct spending, and another $4.68 Million via indirect and induced spending into the local economy.

This park is a holistic solution to some of the issues Franklin’s residents live day to day.


This campaign will provide the designs and engineering documentation necessary to start building. However, it will not provide the funds for the actual construction. Our collaborative team, will have to raise additional funds to begin the implementation phase. However, given our dedication and successful public-private partnership, we are confident that we will achieve our vision.

Another issue is perception, for a long time these buildings were closed, vacant and deteriorating. Seeing them vibrant with activity and construction is wonderful and it combats the idea that Franklin’s history is Franklin’s future.

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